Friday, September 26, 2008

Light the Night

 lightI am really excited that members of my family are getting involved in Light the NIght, a fund-raising event for the Lymphoma & Leukemia Society of Canada that features participants carrying illuminated balloons on a 5 km twilight walk to celebrate and commemorate lives touched by cancer.  The families of my niece, Alicia and my cousin Tracy are walking in my honour, which touches my heart very deeply.  I am so proud to be part of such a family. 

May I encourage you to join them as they seek to raise money for lymphoma and leukemia research?  You can make your pledge online for either Team Brown or Fox Trot

Friday, September 19, 2008

What a week!

This has been a brutal week. Meetings, dealing with conflicts (none staff related, praise God), having to turn down requests that I simply don't have time to deal with, working through some very difficult issues with one of our overseas partners (which ended up with our eventually deciding that we had to drop all future work with them). These are some of the inevitable duties of a CEO, but wow, do I feel tired out by the end of the week. Tomorrow I go out for brunch with 3 members of our team who work outside of our head office and while there is a part of me that would like to cancel it tonight, I know that I will enjoy it tomorrow. Some of these guys I haven't seen in months; in one case, well over a year.

I am starting to really look forward to my holidays in a couple of weeks (as is my wife). Now if I can just get through the next week (which also promises to be full of meetings, staff training and strategy meetings for our international work. I know that they will be fun, but I also know I will probably be wrecked a week from now.

I'm not complaining. This work is my calling and my love. It's just a statement of fact. So bring it on!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Church of England to apologize to Darwin

In a website to be launched tomorrow, the Church of England is planning to apologize to Charles Darwin for being over-defensive and over-emotional in dismissing Darwin's ideas and will call "anti-evolutionary fervour" an "indictment" on the Church".

According to the Telegraph, the apology, which has been written by the Rev Dr Malcolm Brown, the Church's director of mission and public affairs, says that Christians, in their response to Darwin's theory of natural selection, repeated the mistakes they made in doubting Galileo's astronomy in the 17th century.

darwin"The statement will read: Charles Darwin: 200 years from your birth, the Church of England owes you an apology for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still. We try to practise the old virtues of 'faith seeking understanding' and hope that makes some amends."

One blogger responded to the news with the comment, "One gets the idea that the folks who run the Church of England have nothing better to do — say, feed the hungry, clothes the naked, visit prisoners, heal the sick, and preach the Good News, all priorities valued by Jesus Christ — then come up with goofball ideas."  I would add that is just plan weird giving an apology to a dead person using the second person. making it seem like the recipient can actually hear what is being said; unless the Church of England thinks that Darwin has evolved into a non-corporeal being.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Slowly moving out again

I am gradually starting to get my courage up again to try traveling.  My experience last May admittedly spooked me.  Having to fly home from Europe in the middle of a trip, being taken right from the airport to the hospital and taking two months to recuperate from a severe case of shingles is enough to make travelanyone anyone swear off leaving home for a while.  And it did do that to me.  I cancelled plans to attend two meetings in London (one last week and another scheduled for a month from now).  Given the uncertainty of my treatment and health, this was probably the wise thing to do, but I feel restless.  And so I am planning on going on vacation next month and have booked a flight to a meeting in Cyprus in November. 

The challenge is to know how to discern between proper and undue caution given my condition.  Sometimes my family, friends and co-workers are helpful; sometimes not.  I do sense that I am doing the right thing in the decisions that I have made as to which trips to go to and which to miss.  I would appreciate your prayers as I try to discern what traveling I should and should not do.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The top 19 ways to annoy people

I am an oldest child.  This means that, among other things, I tend to be an incurable tease (I tyrannized my younger brothers) and have this urge from time-to-time to do things just to get a reaction.  Hence, lists like this are the stuff of life to me:

The top 19 ways to annoy people:

1. Leave the copy machine set to reduce 150%, dark, 17 inch paper, 99 copies.

2. In the memo field of all your checks, write “for sensual massage.”

3. Specify that your drive-through order is “to go”

4. Insist on keeping your windshield wipers running in all weather conditions “to keep them tuned up”

5. Reply to everything someone says with “that’s what you think”

6. Practice making fax and modem noises

7. Highlight irrelevant information in scientific papers and “cc” them to your boss.

8. Finish all of your sentences with “in accordance with prophecy”

9. Adjust the tint on your TV so that all the people are green and insist to others that you like it that way.

10. Signal that a conversation is over by clamping your hands over your ears.

11. Repeat the following conversation a dozen times: “Do you hear that?” “What?” “Never mind, it’s gone now.”

12. As much as possible, skip rather than walk.

13. Ask people what gender they are.

14. While making a presentation, occasionally bob your head like a parakeet.

15. Sit in your front yard pointing a hair dryer at passing cars to see if they slow down.

16. Sing along at the opera.

17. Go to a poetry recital and ask why each poem doesn’t rhyme.

18. Ask your co-workers mysterious questions and then scribble their answers in a notebook. Mutter something about “psychological profiles.”

19. Send this list to everyone in your email address book even if they sent it to you or ask you not to send things like this.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Before you click on that "send & receive" button

emailstorm In a study last year, Dr Thomas Jackson of Loughborough University, England, found that it takes an average of 64 seconds to recover your train of thought after interruption by email. People who check their email every five minutes (which is about 35% of all users) waste 81/2 hours a week figuring out what they were doing moments before.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"I am offended"

easily_offended Proverbs 19:11 says, “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offence.”

It is fashionable today to get offended. A recent search on Google of the phrase “I am offended” produced 185,000 results. It’s a powerful statement. Say to someone, “I am offended by what you did” and automatically your problem becomes their problem, regardless of whether the offence was intended or not. It is as if we feel that we have a right not to be offended and we hold the entire world hostage to this expectation.

Christians and non-Christians are equally guilty of this. As the CEO of The Voice of the Martyrs, I hear more than my share of concerns and complaints from those who read our newsletter, website, email news service, or watch our videos. Sometimes what we write and present is offensive to certain people. Some do not appreciate the nature of our ministry and what we stand for and we can make no apology for that.  Sometimes we offend people due to carelessness or oversight.  Other times, we did not anticipate that something might be taken in a certain way.  Many of those who contact us with concerns are godly, well-intentioned people; many give their concerns respectfully and courteously. I value their comments and we are a better organization for having listened to them. Others are less courteous and nothing you say or do will satisfy them. I confess to being especially stymied by those who preface their complaint with, “I found this offensive” or “I was offended by this.” Behind the statement is the expectation that I will admit that they are absolutely right and promise that we will never make this error again. The problem is, sometimes the offence is of such a nature that it would have been difficult or impossible to anticipate; you just can’t always guess what will set someone off.

We need to keep in mind that when a comment seems offensive that it may not have been intentional or aimed specifically at us or our group. We need to consider the context that things are being said or done. Many times, we may have misunderstood and taken wrongly what the other person intended to communicate. Give the person the benefit of the doubt and avoid jumping to conclusions that automatically assumes the worst or plays into our own fears, insecurities or, alternately, our own convictions and pet peeves.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Denita's latest update

Here's a quick update.  We saw the doctor today after spending 4 1/2 mind numbing hours waiting to get into the room.  Glenn's blood work is looking good.  His platelets were up, his hemoglobin was about the same, and his lymphocytes were in the normal range, so it looks like we are on the right track with treatment.  The doctor wants Glenn to stay on the chemo pills for another couple of months and then he'll have scans done to see where things are at.  Glenn has been feeling fairly good aside from the cold he caught about a week and a half ago.  That seems to be going away and the doctor is giving him some antibiotics to make sure it does go away.  Aside from feeling a bit nauseous at times and quite tired, Glenn is managing to put in a full week at work.  Thank you for all your prayers and concern. As long as everything stays about the same, our next appointment to see the doctor is Oct. 6. 

Till then...

Love, Denita

Friday, September 5, 2008

Attention to details

As an obsessive-compulsive, I can really appreciate this cartoon.  While being a perfectionist can be a good thing in that it helps organizations reach a high level of excellence, it can also drive co-workers a little crazy; just ask those who work with me.  Sorry team!


Monday, September 1, 2008

Feeling Better

I picked a good time to get a cold (if such a thing were possible). Having a long weekend to rest up, sleep, and take it easy has got me feeling really quite well. Ready to take on next week at the office.  Just have to be careful not to overdo it.  Thankfully, I have a good staff to help me with that.

Feeling better about Man United now too, as they have signed Berbatov.  If you have no idea what I am talking about, you probably call football, soccer :-).  Check out my widget below on the Manchester United Football Club; only the best football team in the world.